As the addiction treatment world has developed, we’ve broadened our understanding of what is considered best practice in trauma-focused therapy for adults. Not only is it essential for us to address the cognitive impacts of trauma, but it is increasingly important to address where trauma is stored in the body as well. Holistic modalities designed to address this aspect of trauma are fundamental to long-term sustainability in addiction and trauma recovery.
There are two different categories of diagnosable trauma: acute and complex. Acute trauma occurs when a person survives an event such as warfare, a car accident, an assault, natural disasters, etc. On the other hand, complex trauma is the result of pervasive and consistent instances of traumatic experiences. These are typically repeating circumstances that compound upon one another, such as domestic abuse, neglect, or bullying. The effects of these traumatic experiences may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, which is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation, hypervigilance, and more.
Often, a diagnosis of PTSD accompanies other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance use. We as a treatment community recognize the impact that traumatic experiences have on many women today and that it may feel impossible to know where to begin in the healing journey.
Six Holistic Healing Therapies for Trauma
Here at Villa Kali Ma, we utilize an integrative holistic approach to treat trauma that includes the following modalities.
Many of us hold trauma and stress in the body and brain without even being aware that we do so. The practice of yoga allows us to connect to our bodies in a safe, yet enlightening way. We can learn to notice our physical sensations and psychological experiences and integrate them to become more aligned with our highest self.
Yoga can teach us how to hold space for and honor all parts of ourselves. Doing yoga is much more than physical poses, but rather is a holistic philosophy consisting of various practices of connection with body and spirit.
Meditation and mindfulness therapy
As defined by one of its pioneers, Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is “awareness that arises by paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Research has shown that practicing mindfulness activates the part of the brain associated with stress, anxiety, and emotional processing, allowing for increased mental flexibility and relaxation. Targeting these brain functions can have a direct impact in reducing trauma symptoms and cultivating more peace in the present moment.
Meditation is one of the ways to practice mindfulness. A consistent meditation practice includes emotional awareness, body movement, and breathwork and will promote focus, peace, and healing. Practicing meditation and mindfulness will also enhance body-awareness, stability, and balance.
Massage therapy has demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce physical and emotional pain due to trauma stored in the body. Massage therapy alters EEG activity, increases activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, and decreases cortisol levels. These physiological changes result in a reduction of anxiety and calm both the body and the brain.
Reiki therapy is energy healing designed to stimulate energy fields to relieve stored trauma in the body and its emotional effects. The Reiki practitioner uses gentle touch to manipulate and transmit healing energy throughout the patient’s body. Reiki has reduced PTSD symptoms and relaxes the body, mind, and nervous system, inviting alignment and integration of the being. Additionally, Reiki attends to the chakras, rebalancing and unblocking them throughout the practice.
Acupuncture is a practice that involves inserting tiny, thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate different nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. Acupuncture views the body as a system of interconnected pathways, and if each path is unable to flow freely, physical and emotional distress occurs. Through stimulating the different acupressure points, the energy through the body regulates, and negative symptoms decrease. This practice helps balance the flow of energy and restore harmony in the body.
Mental health therapy
We can use trauma-informed therapeutic approaches in individual, family, and group therapy sessions to process and heal the effects of PTSD. There are a variety of treatment modalities that address unprocessed and repressed trauma symptoms. Somatic approaches such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) allows the client to heal their trauma without being re-traumatized. At Villa Kali Ma, we use EMDR and breathwork synonymously to maintain a sense of calm throughout the exercise and release trauma stored in the body. We complete breathwork sessions with clients twice a week for an hour at a time.
More traditional talk therapy approaches, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), are evidence-based practices that have effectively treated trauma in a number of people.
Mind, Body, & Spirit Healing
Villa Kali Ma enlists a team of trained professionals in a variety of the modalities mentioned above, allowing us to provide integrative, holistic services to heal the mind, body, and spirit.
Each client’s treatment plan is personalized to their individual needs to ensure the most effective treatment. We commit to cultivating a welcoming and non-judgmental environment offering a safe space for you on your healing journey.
Connect with us today to learn more about how we help women heal from trauma and addiction!